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The 8 Days of DisHist-mas!

This was originally written for Twitter in the 8 days leading up to Christmas (it was originally going to be the traditional 12 days but unfortunately I wasn't too well, so you'll have 8 and be thankful for it.)




Once I realised that #DisHist sounded a bit like the Christ in Christmas, I thought I'd do a fun 12 days of #DisHist-mas.

But illness, life and UK politics got in the way last week, so now it will be the new traditional (if I have anything to do with it) 8 days of DisHistmas.



December 16th:

An opportunistic undertaker drops in to give Christmas and New Year wishes to a sick man. Coloured lithograph, ca. 1830.

Undertaker life hack: make friends with all the chronically and seriously ill locals.


Business and the Compliments of the Season. Coloured lithograph, Wellcome Collection


December 17th:

A Christmas entertainment, presented in sign language for the deaf and dumb, at the Hanover Square rooms, London.

Note how many in the audience couldn't care less about who's on stage, and are just signing amongst themselves.


Lithograph of A Christmas Entertainment. Wellcome Collecion.



December 18th:

It's A Wonderful Life, 1946, one of the most well loved American films of all times. A man with a hearing impairment nearly gets done for fraud but it turns out everyone likes him.

Also known as "why did the pharmacist have poison in the first place?!


George Bailey from the film It's a Wonderful Life.


December 19th:

A reminder that we can blame Charles Dickens for a lot of "oh no poor you well done you left the house aren't you brave."

BUT less irritatingly, this year on Broadway Tiny Tim will be played by disabled kids!


Kermit and Tiny Tim in A Muppets Christmas Carol.


December 20th:

A 1940 poster from the National Tuberculosis Association in the USA for awareness-raising stamps.

I am assuming that the stamps themselves did not contribute to the spread of TB because that wouldn't be very Christmassy.


Special TB Christmas seals.


December 21st&22nd:

Two videos from the same place, (and not just because I was out drinking yesterday)

Hidden Lives Remembered. Click the pictures to watch the videos.




A first hand account of Christmas in a residential home:









A choir reminisce about their Christmas visits:






The Hidden Lives Remembered project is based in Solihull focussing on the history of people with learning disabilities living in residential homes and long stay hospitals.

Highly recommend looking at all their resources, so valuable!



December 23rd:

Christmas cards raising money for the Crippled Children's Help Society.

These were both drawn by the same artist, Edward Gosling, a child with no arms who used the society.

He drew with his toes, and apparently thought Santa personally killed turkeys.


Gosling's drawing of a winter bird with holly, drawn in green.

A nice christmassy Santa dragging a turkey by the neck with a ribbon.


December 24th:

"A Gift of Love", the 1963 remarkable and tragic story of a girl whose mum is TOO RICH for a gift she could afford.

Thankfully, a brooch made by a disabled is worth much more! Everyone will treasure a gift and card "made by spastics"!

Click below to see the whole film, thanks to the Wellcome Library!


Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year!

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